WR150 - Kurt Vonnegut


This course was a revision of my Fall 2016 section of WR100. This gave me the opportunity to omit the readings that didn't work and to spend more time on those that did. I also focused my actual writing instruction this semester; this was the first time that I adopted my current approach to teaching style in the classroom. Rather than subjecting the class to general lectures on writing style, I now diagnose struggles that most of the class share on the first paper and structure my lectures appropriately.

I also added an additional novel, Cat's Cradle, to the syllabus for WR150. I chose Cat's Cradle because of the wealth of criticism available about it; because many people have written about it, my students had more to look for.

This course's primary weakness was a focus on content to the (possible) exclusion of more research-based and writing-based instruction. Although much of the content encouraged students to think critically about genre and discourse communities, some of it would have fit better in a literature class than a writing one. Consequently, most of the actual writing instruction took place in one-on-one meetings or in the drafting and revision process. Although this approach has its strengths, the primary of which is the way it allows me to customize my instruction for each student, I wish I'd spent more time on writing in the classroom. The syllabi I composed for WR120 and WR152 focus more squarely on teaching writing, to the students' ultimate benefit.


WR150: Kurt Vonnegut


Paper 1: Writing as Conversation
Scaffolded Research Assignment
Paper 2: Prescriptivism and Descriptivism
Oral Presentation
Final Portfolio


Paper 1: Graded w/ Comments (A-)
Paper 1: Graded w/ Comments (B)
Paper 2: Graded w/ Comments (A/A-)
Paper 2: Graded w/ Comments (C)
Paper 3: Graded w/ Comments (A/A-)
Paper 3: Graded w/ Comments (C/C+)